The Fenway Institute applauds CDC’s ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ Campaign’s LGBT Focus


BOSTON, Mass–The Fenway Institute applauds the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health (OSH) for including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people among the populations featured in their new ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ tobacco cessation campaign. The campaign features compelling messages from people affected by tobacco use. Other populations featured include African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans/Alaskan Natives.

One of the ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ ads features a lesbian who suffers from asthma triggered by working in a smoke-filled bar. Recently released data from the CDC shows that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70% higher than the general population. The Fenway Institute and other organizations have been educating health agencies about the need for LGBT inclusion in public health campaigns for several years.  The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity was involved in consultations with the CDC to help augment the diversity in the ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ ads.

“Tobacco use is one of the biggest health issues impacting the LGBT community,” said Scout, PhD, Director of the Network for LGBT Health Equity. “Right now it’s still historic to see LGBT inclusion in a national health media campaign. I hope other health agencies follow CDC’s lead and start to make it routine.”

The ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ campaign will include ad buys tailored to populations that have smoking disparities, access to tobacco quitlines in multiple languages, and online materials customized for special populations. Expect to see the ads run on TV, radio, print, and online through June. During 2012, the Tips From Former Smokers campaign resulted in 200,000 additional quitline calls across the nation.

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, and other health disparities within our communities. We are one of six CDC-funded tobacco disparity networks and a project of The Fenway Institute in Boston. We advance these issues primarily by linking people and information to advocate for policy change.

For more than forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population.  The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless or living on the streets; struggling with substance use or abuse; sex workers; or living with HIV/AIDS.

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